Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Colchester: Police reveal Greenstead murder victim may have been targeted because she was a Muslim

Police have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a woman on a footpath on Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday, 17 June.

Police have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a woman on a footpath on Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday, 17 June.

Detectives probing the murder of a student in Colchester say the fact she was a Muslim is “one of the main lines of the investigation”.

The Saudi Arabian woman, in her early 30s and who was studying at the University of Essex, was walking along the Salary Brook Trail in Greenstead when the attack happened.

Paramedics tried to save her but she died at the scene from massive head and body injuries.

Essex Police confirmed today she was wearing a dark navy blue full-length robe, called an Abaya, and a patterned multi-coloured Hijab headscarf.

Det Supt Tracy Hawkings said officers were keeping an open mind about the motive of the attack at 10.40am yesterday.

But she added: “We are conscious the dress of the victim will have identified her as likely being a Muslim and this is one of the main lines of the investigation, but there is no firm evidence at this time she was targeted because of her religion.”

Detectives want to hear from anyone who used the path between 8.30am and 11am and asked residents to check gardens and bins for weapons or blood-stained clothing.

Ms Hawkings said: “We have not yet been able to formally identify the victim but we believe we know who she is and specially trained family liaison officers are speaking with her family now.

“A forensic post-mortem is due to be carried out on Wednesday to establish the cause of death but at this time it would appear a knife or other bladed weapon was used.

“The victim also suffered facial injuries but the cause of these has yet to be established.

“If anyone comes across any suspicious items which they think could be connected to this murder we would ask them to call us.”

Although not formally identified the police have confirmed they believe the victim to be a Saudi Arabian national who lived in nearby Woodrow Way and studied at Essex University.

A university spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young woman, and we are deeply saddened by this tragic incident.

“The university is providing every possible assistance to the police and we have opened a helpline on 01206 874333 to provide support for students, staff and those connected with our community, and informing them of other university support services.

“Following advice from the police we have reminded our community of our safety procedures. There is 24-hour security at Colchester campus and our Students’ Union shuttle bus is running from campus to surrounding areas in the evenings.”

Officers are looking at possible links with the murder of James Attfield, who died after being stabbed 102 times close to Colchester’s Lower Castle Park in late March.

“There are some immediate similarities between this murder and that of James Attfield but there are also a large number of differences as well,” she said.

Police patrols will be increased in the area and street lights kept on until officers release the scene.

A 52-year-old man from Colchester arrested in connection with the incident at 5pm yesterday and remains in custody tonight.

Anyone with any information should contact the major investigation team on 01245 282103, Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Ipswich mayor Roger Fern has sent a message of support to his opposite number in London to express the council’s condolences after Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Westminster.

Sheltering in the Houses of Parliament, a Suffolk butcher has revealed how for the second time he found himself stuck in London as terrorists struck the capital city.

A Felixstowe pre-schoool is determind to prove it is a good school following criticisms by Ofsted inspectors.

James Cleverly paid an emotional tribute to his friend PC Keith Palmer who was killed in the grounds of Houses of Parliament and made a call for posthumous recognition.

A 27-year-old man has been given a 12-month conditional discharge after a late-night fracas at an Ipswich kebab shop.

Ipswich Witches open their 2017 speedway season on Saturday night.

A man in his 50s has been arrested after two men were spotted behaving suspiciously at Crown Pools, Ipswich, with the pool closed.

Pupils from Whitton Community Primary School have been out in Ipswich selling Indian recipe cards - with a packet of spices to add a kick to the dish.

Spectators of a sixth form production helped raise more than £200 to support Suffolk people suffering from AIDS and HIV.

There is a big change coming to one of the most used coins in Britain.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24